New Chameleon owner

Kennaree

New Member
Hi everyone!

I am a new chameleon owner. I just recently purchased a male veiled chameleon. There are a few questions I had and so far this site has been REALLY helpful so I was hoping you can help me out.
I read somewhere that you're supposed to turn off their heat lamp at night. I thought that since they are poikilotherms, they need the heat lamp to stay warm. If it is true that you need to turn off the light, should I still do it, because I live in Wyoming, and I imagine that it is much more cold here than what they are used to.
I was also interested in keeping my Cham free range and I was wondering what the best way to go about that. I share a house with a few other people, so I want to keep him in just my room, that way no one forgets he's there and can possibly harm him on accident. I was thinking of getting a cham safe tree and letting him live in that.
I want my Cham to be tolerant of people, what is the best way to go about helping him see I am not a threat to him?
I want this little guy to have the least stressful life I can possibly give him. Please give me any tips on how to ensure his happiness while living with me.

Thanks!!!!
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
Hi everyone!

I am a new chameleon owner. I just recently purchased a male veiled chameleon. There are a few questions I had and so far this site has been REALLY helpful so I was hoping you can help me out.
I read somewhere that you're supposed to turn off their heat lamp at night. I thought that since they are poikilotherms, they need the heat lamp to stay warm. If it is true that you need to turn off the light, should I still do it, because I live in Wyoming, and I imagine that it is much more cold here than what they are used to.
I was also interested in keeping my Cham free range and I was wondering what the best way to go about that. I share a house with a few other people, so I want to keep him in just my room, that way no one forgets he's there and can possibly harm him on accident. I was thinking of getting a cham safe tree and letting him live in that.
I want my Cham to be tolerant of people, what is the best way to go about helping him see I am not a threat to him?
I want this little guy to have the least stressful life I can possibly give him. Please give me any tips on how to ensure his happiness while living with me.

Thanks!!!!
Welcome to the forum! And congrats on the new guy.

I am on my tablet so I can't link you to any resources but bear with me.

Yes, chameleons should sleep in complete darkness, with a drop in temp. It'benefitial to them to get cooler at night, so even if your house is getting down to 65° at night (for a young chameleon) he'll still be more than ok. In winter, if for any reason it starts hitting below 50° then you can use a heat emmitter, but never a bulb (not even red or black bulbs)

As far as free-ranging. You can always go to a hardware store, buy a sheet of acrylic or wood, and have them cut it into 4 long boards and make essentially a corral around his trees. They can't climb anything smooth, so as long as he sides are tall enough he won't be able to wander away if he gets the urge to explore.

As far as "taming" I would link you to a blog I wrote to make your life easier but I can't. You can find it in my signature link and once on the blog searching for an entry called "Thoughts on handling." Essentially, you want to start trying to hand-feed him so he associates you wil good things. It may take a lot of time and patience but the best way to most animals' hearts is through their stomachs.


Hope that helps!
 

Kennaree

New Member
Thank you SO much!!! I really appreciate the help. When I first thought about getting a chameleon, I knew he was gonna be a lot of work, but I didn't realize all the different information, and strategies it took. I am loving the hard work though, It is making me feel like I am actually making a difference in this little guy's life.
I had another question, how quickly should I start upping his food intake, and by how much? He looks REALLY skinny right now, and it makes me nervous. I want him to be a big healthy guy and I want to do it the best way possible.
 

Olimpia

Biologist & Ecologist
You're very welcome! You actually want to feed him a lot more now than you would an adult, so depending on his age he could be eating something like 20 appropriately sized crickets and end up eating 3-5 every other day as a grown adult.

How old is he?
 
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